Do you have a project idea that could improve access to oral health services for the most vulnerable in our community?
The Victoria Foundation wants to hear about it!
For many Capital Region residents, accessing oral health care can be challenging. Whether due to financial barriers to dental care, transportation challenges, or finding services that can accommodate specialized needs, dental and other oral health care is an essential piece of the wellness puzzle that is missing for many local individuals and families.
In response, the Victoria Foundation is working with Green Shield Canada (GSC) through its Six 4 Six program, seeking grant applications for projects aimed at improving accessibility to oral health services.
Improving access to oral health
“We’re fortunate to have many agencies and care providers already working to improve access to oral health,” says Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson. “From non-profit clinics to mobile dentistry, many dedicated people are tackling this key issue affecting too many of our most vulnerable citizens… but demand far outpaces supply. We want to build on these successes, expand services and support new innovation with these grants.”
The $100,000 available for oral health projects is part of a total of $700,000 that GSC has allocated to the Victoria Foundation to help address mental and oral health care needs, gaps and priority areas.
Project builds connections across the region
Discussion with local agencies and service providers about what’s being done – and what more is needed – is also fostering relationship-building among stakeholders in different sectors, Richardson notes.
As the lead partner for the initiative in BC, the Victoria Foundation recently consulted with key oral health stakeholders in the region, including non-profit providers of care, private practitioners, civil society organizations, academic and government representatives and others. The dialogue has helped inform their granting strategy on how to most effectively improve access to oral health in the region.
Established to mark GSC’s 60th anniversary in 2018, the Six 4 Six program has allocated $6 million to priority projects in oral and mental health across six Canadian communities, including Victoria.
GSC, Canada’s only national not-for-profit health and dental benefit provider, aims to make it easier for people to live their healthiest lives, explains board chair Sherry Peister.
“Six 4 Six represents a new collaborative model of corporate giving under which we partner with communities where our employees and plan members live to address local needs, particularly around oral health and mental health. Together with the Victoria Foundation, we can work toward bridging the gap in available and affordable dental care and ensuring access to dental services for the underinsured and uninsured.”
Applicants for the grants have until Aug. 5 to submit a detailed description of their proposed project to the Victoria Foundation.